note to self: quit thinking so hard


A good rainy Wednesday afternoon….I woke up waaaay too late (way too late for me is about 9:30 or 10:00). At first I was up at 7:30, made pancakes, and got back into bed. Not a good idea! I slept for another two hours!!

I jumped out of bed feeling super inspired, and got myself ready for an afternoon at my desk. I thought in the shower “NO DISTRACTIONS TODAY BRYANNA!”. Leave the dishes, leave the groceries, leave everything til you are done at your art desk. So I took a seat and began to work.

It was not an easy afternoon…it’s harder and harder the more time you spend away from your work. You sort of lose your flow, your imagination becomes more and more distant until it’s completely out of your grasp! It’s terrible! It takes three times the effort (or more) to get back to where you started from, or to get back and keep moving forward when you stop working. Not good!
Today I sort of came to the realization that I’ve lost my sense of fun and imagination in my artwork. I have sort of a revelation…”if you’re not having fun, then why are you doing this?”

At first I struggled through some buildings, I thought it would be fun or interesting to make a city full of hairy buildings….but it didn’t really look or feel right to me. I researched hair….tried to figure out how I could make it better, and then I started to draw hairy boxes in perspective….and then it hit me that this is pretty silly, and not very exciting.
Maybe a good experiment with pen and ink…but I think I’m over it. I was feeling kind of lost. Sometimes I write myself notes of encouragement in times like these….

I decided to quit thinking so much. I used to be able to just DRAW crazy creatures and people and animals from my imagination. I didn’t think, I’d just put the pencil to the paper and get to work. So I tried it. I dipped my paint brush in ink, and when I noticed myself falling into my old habits I stopped myself, and started a new line, or transformed what I had in mind into something new, until these creatures appeared on my page:

And I thought to myself….this is probably the truest thing to myself that I have drawn in a long time. I feel like it came straight out of somewhere inside of me, and unfurled itself onto the page. Its a strange image of course, and I think I could do without the weird lady in the middle of the page, but I was excited to see that there was still something hanging out deep inside of my brain that I was able to tap into. So I draw some more…

And I thought…”I like these dogs!”. They have good character, and I have no idea where they came from….maybe them stemmed from all of the fur I had been drawing earlier…not sure, but I think they will stick around for a while as a reminder to me to be ME, and to stop thinking so much. Overall a good day in the studio šŸ™‚

Hope your Wednesday is going!

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8 thoughts on “note to self: quit thinking so hard

  1. I’ve only read this one post, but instantly I decided to follow you. I’m dealing with a lot of what you spoke about. For instance, I also have a problem with just putting things on paper. I’m so glad you were successful with tapping into that corner of your mind and producing these beautiful pieces. You’ve inspired me today. šŸ™‚ Thank you.

    • That’s awesome! I’m so glad you’ve been inspired. I think all artists are struggling in one way or another, I think my biggest struggle is finding my truest self and letting it run around on the page. I think maybe drawing can become like writing though, if you do it enough? It just flows from the pen to the paper without much thought…we’ll have to really keep it up to find out! I think the number one thing to keep in mind is do not be afraid of silliness, ugliness, or mistakes. They just have to happen.

  2. Nice work. One of the exercises my wife has her students do is a morphing drawing. One version is to take two very dissimilar objects and then draw the transformation of one into the other – dog into building. The other is a detailed project – transforming your self-portrait into your inner-self/goal/dream/fear. I did a post on “potatography” – turned a yam into a camera. Another art blog that I enjoy may give you some ideas is http://badjonesrisingblog.tumblr.com/ – she is also a young visual artist like you – full of creativity. Enjoy the day ! Keep creating & posting.

  3. OH MY GOSH. I do the same thing. That is the main thing I struggle with right now is thinking too much!!! I cannot seem to get past it! Also, I realise I do things mainly to please other people. I suppose I feel if I love doing my art and if I am pleased with the result, it is an unnecessary indulgence, when in reality it is just me using my talents and venting to myself so I don’t explode one day.
    This is why I am going to be an art therapist…
    Thank you!
    – s

    • That is so awesome! I’ve thought of art therapy as a career path too…I haven’t decided yet though. I feel like art is also a place you can go to to escape and vent, like a pal or a good vacation spot! It’s neat to think that it can be a physical representation of what is stirring up inside of you.

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